From “Conan” to “The X-Files,” Alex Trebek’s seven best cameo roles

I'll take "a surprisingly versatile host" for $400, please! VIDEO

Topics: Video, alex trebek, conan, Conan O'Brien, the x-files, sesame street, Arthur, arthur chu,

From "Conan" to "The X-Files," Alex Trebek's seven best cameo roles

Last night, Alex Trebek appeared on “Conan” in a fairly baroque bit of one-upmanship. O’Brien’s long-running “Alex Trebek Has Gone Insane” series features mashed-up words from “Jeopardy!” to make the host seem a bit unhinged; Trebek presented a similar mashup of O’Brien’s recent monologues. The whole thing was in good fun, and made it clear that Trebek’s at home in pretty much every media setting.

We have a beef with Trebek, but it’s hard to deny how good he is as a cross-platform entertainer. He’s said to be retiring soon — could a talk show or cartoon be in the cards? (Probably not, but we can dream!)

“The Queen Latifah Show”

On the rapper and actress’s new talk show, Trebek hosted a hip-hop-themed edition of “Jeopardy!” between Latifah and Will Smith, featuring a category called “Diddy or Didn’t He.” Trebek said he “would have accepted Puff Diddy, Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs, Sean Combs, Sean John Combs, Diddy, Daddy, all of it” as one of Diddy’s stage names, though “Puff Diddy” is not actually acceptable. No matter!

“Saturday Night Live”

After years of lampooning Trebek on the “Celebrity Jeopardy” sketch, Will Ferrell got a taste of his own medicine in 2002, when Trebek himself appeared on the late-night standard. Trebek’s appearance was fairly toothless, but gave a sense, mainly, of how much time had passed: Ferrell was wearing the vintage mustache and double-breasted suit, while a clean-shaven Trebek looked much more modern.

“Arthur”

Before game-changing “Jeopardy!” champ Arthur Chu, there was Arthur of PBS — the kids’ cartoon character whom Trebek, playing dog-esque animal Alex Lebek, visited in 2000. “Lebek” was the host of a kiddie game-show in which our favorite aardvark (yes) competes.



“Sesame Street”

Trebek is clearly at home on kids’ television — as when he hosted a mini-game show in “Sesame Street”‘s post-Cookie Monster era in order to educate viewers about the value of healthy eating.

“The X-Files”

Hard to find on YouTube — though it’s on Netflix! — the episode “Jose Chung’s from Outer Space” features Trebek as one of two truth-tellers who are aware of aliens among us. The other? Future governor and future conspiracy theorist Jesse Ventura.

Daniel D'Addario is a staff reporter for Salon's entertainment section. Follow him on Twitter @DPD_

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 13
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Api Étoile

    Like little stars.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Calville Blanc

    World's best pie apple. Essential for Tarte Tatin. Has five prominent ribs.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chenango Strawberry

    So pretty. So early. So ephemeral. Tastes like strawberry candy (slightly).

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chestnut Crab

    My personal fave. Ultra-crisp. Graham cracker flavor. Should be famous. Isn't.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    D'Arcy Spice

    High flavored with notes of blood orange and allspice. Very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Esopus Spitzenberg

    Jefferson's favorite. The best all-purpose American apple.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Granite Beauty

    New Hampshire's native son has a grizzled appearance and a strangely addictive curry flavor. Very, very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hewes Crab

    Makes the best hard cider in America. Soon to be famous.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hidden Rose

    Freak seedling found in an Oregon field in the '60s has pink flesh and a fragrant strawberry snap. Makes a killer rose cider.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Knobbed Russet

    Freak city.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Newtown Pippin

    Ben Franklin's favorite. Queen Victoria's favorite. Only apple native to NYC.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Pitmaston Pineapple

    Really does taste like pineapple.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

Loading Comments...